Snickerdoodles – Take Two

Today was my second attempt at the perfect snickerdoodle. I changed my recipe just a bit, replacing some of the butter with shortening. I also used a bigger ball of dough to get a slightly more domed cookie. I think I have found perfection. Puffed and soft, with just the right texture – these are exactly what I was looking for. Don’t be tempted to substitute the cream of tartar for baking powder – the tartar mixed with the baking soda is what gives these cookies their fast lift. As they de-puff slightly, you get the signature cracks of a snickerdoodle.

Snickerdoodles - Take Two

Snickerdoodles

1/2  cup butter, softened
1/2  cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients until just combined. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  3. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls. I wanted them a good size, so I used 2 T of dough per ball.
  4. Mix the 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake only one sheet at a time for 8 minutes, or until set but not hard. The cracks should still look moist. Allow to cool 3 minutes on baking sheets then remove to cool on a wire rack.

Snickerdoodles

A wonderful friend at church paid me a very sweet compliment on my Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes – and mused about what my snickerdoodles must taste like…posted on facebook no less. What a great guy. So, now I am in search of the perfect snickerdoodle recipe for him. Nathan, here’s my first effort. Not good enough for you yet. But I shall keep trying.

I think the combo of shortening and butter (when the right ratio is achieved) will give me the puffed cookies I want with the flavor I’m looking for. I’m thinking next batch will be half butter/half shortening, because this batch was a little flat for me. It’s important to take your cookies out of the oven when the cracks still look a little moist – they will look underdone, but as they cool they’ll harden and if you wait til the craggy parts look dry…that’s exactly what your cookies will be. D.R.Y.

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Allow to cool 2 minutes on baking sheets then remove to cool on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

The first day of fall isn’t technically for another couple of days – but today’s weather is my perfect autumn day. As Winnie-the-Pooh would call it, it’s a blustery day. A touch of dark storm clouds and a  swirling breeze, not quite strong enough to be a full on windy day, but enough to stir the branches of the multicolored trees. Days like this make me want to fill my home with the pungent spices of cinnamon and clove. Bible study worship night is the excuse I needed to make these delicious pumpkin spice cupcakes.  I always round my teaspoons/half teaspoons of spices because I just think that makes it better. But there’s really no technical measurement for a rounded teaspoon.  So there you go.

Shout out of thanks to my sister Amy – who gave me a can of pumpkin puree, which (in my opinion) is worth its weight in gold currently due to the great pumpkin puree shortage of 2009. My grocery store still doesn’t have any of the Libby’s stuff on their shelves…and who wants to bake with organic fancy puree that’s $4 a can? Well – I guess maybe you will if you want to make these cupcakes before the regular stuff comes back in stock. 😦

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes w/Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
  2. Beat 1/2 cup of oil, applesauce, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl to combine.  Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the mixture before adding the next. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree after the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. I like to use an ice-cream scooper to make nice rounded cupcakes.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 19-21 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and 1/4 butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; beat until fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with the cream cheese icing.

Whenever I’m frosting cupcakes, I put a ziploc bag into a glass, fill it with icing and then snip a corner – and do a swirl on top. I always go back and add more frosting it seems, because the pretty swirl just isn’t enough frosting for me.

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